What is your business, why is it awesome?
I work for Healthcare Ireland. We oversee a group of 19 care homes in Northern Ireland and provide assistance and a great standard of living for people in need. We are passionate about supporting local businesses and buying from local suppliers in order to help us achieve this.
How did you hear about Lightyear?
I had previous experience with Lightyear in another business I am involved with, within the telecommunications sector. Lightyear was a game changer for us at that business, so I looked to implement lightyear into HCIB as soon as I joined the organisation.
What was your AP Process before implementing Lightyear and what were the biggest pain points you had in your process?
Our previous AP process was very manual. I’m sure many businesses could share similar stories. Invoices were posted or emailed to our head office for processing. This was a very time consuming process where invoice data was manually posted into Sage Line50. Invoices were often incorrectly coded, mountains of paper seemed to pile up everywhere and people were constantly running back and forth to get signatures on pieces of paper for approval to make payments. Invoices would often go missing as they were passed from person to person and location to location. Getting approval could take up to 6 weeks in some cases due to the myriad of things that could go wrong. At the end of the day we realised that paper was the problem all along, not to even mention growing environmental concerns.
What was the Ah-ha moment that prompted you to change to Lightyear for AP automation?
Which one? We knew we had to get rid of paper immediately and Lightyear immediately provided us with a paperless solution. The discovery that we would now have the ability to manage 19 different sites from a central location with ease. Having both our data extraction and approval process taken care of on the one platform. Realising that we no longer had to manually reconcile statements, that was a good one!
How has Lightyear changed how you process payables bills?
It has changed almost every aspect of it and all for the better. Immediate processing of all of our documents. Approvals in minutes, not weeks. We process a lot of stock invoices for all of our sites, food & etc, and what previously took hundreds of hours of data entry (typing out countless invoices line by line) now literally takes seconds. The added advantage of this is that we now have an up to date view of our purchases instead of operating 2 - 3 months in arrears. This has really helped with cash flow and transparency of our accounts, allowing us to forecast more accurately.
What are your favourite features within Lightyear?
First up is the dashboard. The very first thing you see when you log in. We are given a great overview and can see everything that’s going on in our AP in 1 screen. Automatic statement reconciliation. This alone saves us hours upon hours of work. The price-checking feature is also superb. If a supplier charges us at a different rate it is flagged immediately. As I said before, our statements being automatically reconciled is just huge for us. I hadn’t even realised how many hours we spent on that. Lightyear also provides us with a tax gross-up feature which allows us to process non-VAT claimable invoices with ease. No other software has allowed us to do that.
How much time do you think Lightyear saves your team per week?
We have probably saved close to 50% of the time we previously spent on AP. We’re so much more productive now that we are able to use this time more efficiently. I feel like it has really allowed us to see the true potential of many of the roles within our organization.
How much money are you saving with Lightyear?
Upwards of £50,000 per annum. We are no longer mistakenly paying duplicates, we’re saving costs on early payment fees, and being able to analyse our business to find out which areas we are overspending by using the archive to run analysis on our spending by GL code and suppliers.
How do you use the payables insights generated by Lightyear?
We can download reports by GL code, supplier and care home location which allows us to analyse the spending at each location by supplier and by the actual products being purchased. We have been able to reassess our spending, cutting spending on some items at one location where it wasn’t necessary, letting us allocate funds to other care homes to ensure that our resources are being distributed correctly.
What software do you use/integrate Lightyear with?
Sage Line 50. Even though it’s a desktop software (not cloud-based) we still have no issue getting our data from Lightyear into Sage 50. We simply download an already-formatted spreadsheet from Lightyear and upload it into Sage. It really is that simple.
What would you say to someone to recommend Lightyear to them?
It truly is an amazing tool. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I can’t stress too much the importance of a truly paperless process. Getting approvals in minutes compared to the time it took before is nothing short of spectacular and being able to accurately forecast our spending per care home with such ease is something we just never thought possible.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Lightyear has been absolutely crucial to our business in the current climate. COVID has put a huge pressure on many businesses to reassess how they operate as some business procedures are simply no longer viable. Switching to remote working was a relatively painless procedure for us due to our already automated process and we have been able to remain constantly connected with up to date data. I’ve been working for 25 years and this is easily the best solution we have found for several different headaches!